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Renewable transport energy in New Zealand is making progress, with biodiesel now on retail sale and approval granted for 85% ethanol blends in petrol, Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee said today.
"From today Mobil becomes the first company in New Zealand to sell a biodiesel blend at the pump," he said.
Mobil's B5 blend (5% biodiesel blended with ordinary mineral diesel) went on sale today on a trial basis in the Bay of Plenty region.
The biodiesel in Mobil's B5 blend is sourced from tallow, a by-product of meat processing.
"This trial provides another choice of fuel for Bay of Plenty motorists who wish to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with sustainable biofuels, and support a New Zealand industry," Mr Brownlee said.
Ethanol-blended petrol is already on sale in New Zealand, but now another renewable biofuel choice is possible after an application to allow E85 - an 85% ethanol blend with 15% petrol - has been approved by the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA New Zealand), with controls.
"The approval paves the way for flex-fuel cars, which cost little or no more than ordinary petrol vehicles, to be introduced into New Zealand."
Flex-fuel vehicles can run on either normal mineral petrol, or very high 85% (E85) ethanol blends, as the driver chooses," said Mr Brownlee.
"This approval will eventually allow oil companies to offer another option at the pump for flex-fuel vehicle owners, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions further," he said.
Transport makes up nearly half New Zealand's energy use (44%) but only 0.7% of the sector's energy use is renewable. We need to change that over time if we are to start reducing our greenhouse gas emissions," said Mr Brownlee.